Goals galore as Corby beat the Cooks 6-3 in the Jaymann Shield cracker.
Monday 24th January 2022
NORTHANTS SENIOR YOUTH LEAGUE-JAYMANN SHIELD GROUP B
CORBY TOWN U18 (3) 6 COGENHOE UNITED U18 (2) 3
Kuspert 12, 28
Hobson 27, 68
The Cooks travelled to Corby on a chilly Monday night hoping to kick-start their Jaymann Shield campaign after the opening loss to Whitworth Red, with Gary Fletcher giving an opportunity to some of the younger members of his squad to gain some experience. It was also great to see Josh Wootton make his first start after several months sidelined through injury.
Corby had seen an early attack swept up by James McGrath, but the Cooks first showing came when Andis Vigants played the ball into Manny Asante just inside the box on the right and with three defenders on his case, he played it back out for Jak Robinson who whipped in a dangerous cross that was well held by Steelmen keeper Niall Shackleton. Henry McDonald played Luca Iaciofano into a good position inside the box and he forced a decent save out of Shackleton, then Caleb Jones delivered a good corner, but we couldn’t make it count in the crowded penalty area. A well taken free-kick from Shad Reza picked out McDonald eight yards out but his header was held by Shackleton, then a great challenge by Wootton started an attack that Vigants helped on to find McDonald and he set up Reza on the left corner of the box with the Cooks number nine showing good feet as he stepped inside and forced another decent save out of Shackleton with his low strike.
The Cooks early pressure paid off with just 8 minutes gone as a great pass from Reza picked out McDonald’s run into the box on the left and he clipped the ball past the advancing keeper to find the far corner of the net. The lead was short-lived though as Corby pulled themselves level when Jack Kuspert netted from inside the 6-yard box after the ball had been driven across from the left giving Will Sapwell no chance of keeping it out. The Cooks were still very much up for this one though and they re-took the lead just four minutes later and what a goal it was. Reza and Iaciofano had worked the ball well on the left and even though Reza’s bullet shot had been blocked bravely inside the box, it rolled back to Iaciofano wide on the left and he hit an absolute beauty of a curling shot that brushed the fingertips of the keeper’s desperate attempt to keep it out before crashing into the far top corner of the goal.
Wootton forced a save out of Shackleton after beating his man just inside the box on the right before a great switch from Iaciofano picked out Vigants wide on the right, but his first touch was poor and Joe Callaghan was able to get across and defended the situation well. The Steelmen were starting to get into the game again mainly on the break and were looking dangerous, with a good through ball playing Kuspert through which forced Sapwell to come off his line and make a brave save to deny the lively Corby frontman his second of the game. McGrath then defended well to stop Kuspert getting into a shooting position inside the box, but we switched off at the back on 27 minutes and were duly punished. Joe Hobson had seen a shot from the left touched away by Sapwell, but when it was returned we inexplicably gave him the ball back and he gratefully drilled the ball across Sapwell and despite the keeper getting a touch onto the shot, he couldn’t stop it finding the far corner. Disappointing goal to give away from a Cooks point of view, but it was to get even worse less than sixty-seconds later when Corby struck again. The ball was played into the box with nobody near Kuspert as he went for the ball in front of the keeper. From where I stood I couldn’t really tell if he got a touch or not, but he certainly seemed to be claiming it as the ball went past Sapwell and into the net for Corby’s third of the evening with just 28 minutes played.
Iaciofano fired wide following a corner before the Cooks first change of the night saw Kacper Sosinski replace McDonald with 33 minutes played. The sub looked lively from minute one and his pressure forced the keeper into a mistake, but Iaciofano’s shot was deflected wide for a corner. Shackleton punched Caleb Jones’ corner behind for another one, with this delivery finding its way to McGrath on the edge of the box, but his low strike through the crowd was comfortably saved. From the next attack McGrath was back down his usual end of the field making an important block inside his own box, whilst the end-to-end theme continued as Vigants put pressure on Callaghan who had been trying to run the ball out of play and the big wideman nicked the ball before cutting in and laying it back to Reza, but Shackleton did well to save his strike from the edge of the box.
Robinson steered the ball across from the right on the volley and it had the keeper momentarily concerned as it dropped just beyond the angle of post and bar, then Jones struck a decent effort from outside the box, but he couldn’t keep it on target. Jones made good ground down the left allowing Iaciofano to send over a looping cross that Shackleton caught cleanly with Vigants in attendance just before Reza sent in a free-kick from just in front of the dug-outs that Nat Allam got his head to in the middle of the box, but Shackleton was able to gather before anyone else could get near it. Wootton again won the ball well in the centre and he fed Iaciofano on the left, but his cross was headed away by the big figure of Sam Smith and it was the home side who took a 3-2 lead into the break.
Half-time; Steelmen 3 Cooks 2.
Cogenhoe started the second-half with intent as the game continued to be played at a high tempo to entertain the 50 or so punters who had paid their three quid on a cold night. A nice move from the Cooks saw Sosinski’s touch find Iaciofano and he received the ball back from Reza just inside the box, but his shot was narrowly the wrong side of the post. Seconds later Sosinski played a great ball to Iaciofano who got inside the box before placing his shot past the keeper and we watched on with baited breath as the ball went millimetres the wrong side of the post once more. To complete the Iaciofano one minute trilogy, the striker picked up the ball in the centre and drove towards goal before going for power with his shot, but this one was both too high and wide of the target to complete a frantic sixty-seconds for the livewire Cooks attacker.
Back down the car park end now as Hobson fed Kuspert who played a great low ball across the box for Denzil Dhlodhlo, but his shot was saved at the near post. The resulting corner was palmed at full stretch by Sapwell and it fell to Drew McGeachey in the centre who hit it with an unstoppable left-foot volley that flew into the back of the net as Corby opened up a two goal lead with 52 minutes played, just what Cogenhoe didn’t need after a very good start to the second-half. Ollie Sljivic came on for Robinson before we got back under way.
Jones sent a dangerous ball across the face of goal that Vigants couldn’t control beyond the far post, then good work from Reza saw him win the ball and find Iaciofano to his left and he cut inside before flashing a shot too high and also wide of the far post, but with two in the box he perhaps chose the wrong option on this occasion, but not a bad effort all the same. A good move from the Cooks saw Iaciofano send over a cross that Vigants nodded back for Reza just outside the box and he drove forward before hitting a powerful shot that Shackleton had to palm away. Aiden Hawes came on for Wootton just Corby skipper Max Walker was just off target with a header, then the Cook sub played a lovely ball through for Iaciofano and he played in an unmarked Vigants inside the box, but he tried to hit it as hard as he could and ended up blazing the ball wide from a great position.
Corby had broken quickly all game and a prime example saw Kuspert play a great ball through for Hobson who raced into the box before clipping the ball past the out coming Sapwell and it appeared to be bound for the far corner, but somehow went just the wrong side of the post. Hobson was celebrating again though on 68 minutes when he picked up play in the middle of the Cogenhoe half and went on a diagonal run into the right side of the box before cutting back inside and placing a low shot past Sapwell and into the far corner. Great solo effort from the Corby number eleven even if the defending was somewhat questionable.
Archie Shaw replaced skipper Allam before the restart and as Cogenhoe looked to get themselves back in contention, Reza played a free-kick into the box only for Walker to use his frame to get up and head the ball away. Asante slipped a good ball through for Vigants but he failed to beat his man just inside the box, although Sosinski was quick to win the ball back before forcing Shackleton into another save at his near post. More changes with fifteen minutes left as Liam Isaac replaced Iaciofano and McDonald returned as Vigants made way. Sapwell saved well from to deny Kuspert his hat-trick, then he was called into action again to stop Toby Robinson, but he was unable to keep out the Corby sub on 77 minutes. Robbie Panter found James Owen inside the box as the Cooks defence were opened up he picked out Robinson totally unmarked deep inside the box and he took a touch before picking his spot inside the far post for Corby’s sixth goal of the night.
Cogenhoe pulled one back within sixty-seconds though as a great cross from Sljivic was converted at the far post by Sosinski to reduce the deficit to three as the ninth goal of the evening hit the back of the net. Owen made a run before releasing Dhlodhlo inside the box and his low delivery across the 6-yard box was just begging to be touched over the line, before the game’s final change saw Wootton return the action in place of Reza for the final seven minutes. Asante found Isaac inside the corner of the box on the right and he cut inside Callaghan before striking a decent effort that wasn’t too far over, whilst quickly back down the other as Panter played the ball out wide-right for Owen who sent over a cross that was just too high for the unmarked Dhlodhlo to nod home. Jones won a corner that Isaac swung-in, but McGrath couldn’t get right behind the ball and his close-range header went over the bar, then a lovely free-kick from Sljivic very nearly saw McGrath get a touch in front of the keeper on the edge of the 6-yard box. A Sljivic cross was just too high for his teammates and that was that on a very entertaining game at Steel Park.
Credit to both sides for the action we witnessed tonight. Corby looked so sharp on the break and they took more of their chances than we did and perhaps we were a little naive at times defensively, but the game was played in great spirit with a tempo that went from first whistle to last. Both teams played some great football and we saw some cracking goals too, so what odds would you give me on a 0-0 draw when the two sides meet again a week this Thursday at Compton Park.
Corby; 1. Niall Shackleton 2. Finlay Evans 3. Joe Callaghan 4. Drew Patrick McGeachey 5. Zak Law 6. Max Walker © 7. Oli Powell 8. Lewis Kennedy 9. Jack Kuspert 10. James Owen 11. Joe Hobson. Subs (all used); 12. Denzil Dhlodhlo 14. Noah Sinclair 15. Sam Smith 16. Toby Robinson 17. Robbie Panter.
Cooks; 1. Will Sapwell 2. Jak Robinson 3. Caleb Jones 4. Josh Wootton 5. Nat Allam © 6. James McGrath 7. Luca Iaciofano 8. Manny Asante 9. Shad Reza 10. Henry McDonald 11. Andis Vigants. Subs (all used); 12. Archie Shaw 14. Ollie Sljivic 15. Aiden Hawes 16. Kacper Sosinski 17. Liam Isaac.
Referee; Chris Walton.
Assts; Alex Murison & Eden Palmer.